New Delhi: The Indian economy has witnessed a gradual transition from a period of high and variable inflation to a more stable and low level of inflation in the past five years, according to the Economic Survey released on Thursday.
“Headline inflation based on the consumer price index (CPI) has been declining continuously for the last five years. Headline CPI inflation declined to 3.4 percent in 2018-19 from 3.6 percent in 2017-18, 4.5 percent in 2016-17, 4.9 percent 2015-16 and 5.9 percent in 2014-15,” it said.
In April 2019, it stood at 2.9 percent compared to 4.6 percent in April 2018. Food inflation based on the consumer food price index declined to a low of 0.1 percent during the financial year 2018-19.
The inflation based on wholesale price index (WPI) too remained moderate at 3 percent in 2017-18 compared to 1.7 percent in 2016-17, minus 3.7 percent in 2015-16 and 1.2 percent in 2014-15. During FY 2018-19, WPI inflation stood at 4.3 percent, said the survey.
The current phase of low inflation is also marked by a reduction in both urban and rural inflation. The survey said a decline in rural inflation is steeper than that of urban inflation since July 2018, resulting in a decline in headline inflation.
Controlling inflation remains a key area of policy focus for the government, it said. The measures include regular monitoring of inflation, issuing advisories to states against hoarding and black marketing, holding regular review meetings on prices and availability of key commodities, higher minimum support prices for pulses and other crops to incentivize production and setting up of price stabilization fund for procurement of agri-horticultural commodities.